The latest chapter in the ongoing local tensions over the Confederate flag took the form of approximately 80 people in downtown Hillsborough, waving various flags and holding signs associated with progressive movements.
Those in attendance considered it a protestation to members of an opposing community organization from Alamance County waving Confederate flags at the intersection of Churton and King streets on recent weekends.
Founder of the Hate Free Schools Coalition, Latarndra Strong, said that members of Alamance County Taking Back Alamance County (ACTBAC) have come downtown the past few weekends to wave Confederate flags.
Strong said that she is amongst community organizers who are prepared, at any given moment, to come downtown and protest the presence of the Confederate flag being waved in Hillsborough.
“We want to show that there is more than one story in Hillsborough,” Strong said. “Because that is the intent, right? To somehow deem Hillsborough, in my opinion, racist or Confederate friendly. And I’m not saying Hillsborough is not racist or Confederate friendly, but I’m saying that we want to show there is more than one story in Hillsborough.”
Though members of the group supporting and promoting the Confederate flag were said to be scheduled to show up at 10 a.m., there were no such flags in sight by 11 a.m.
“I think the Confederate flag is used to intimidate people, and I think that’s wrong,” said event attendee Carrie Doyle. “I think the flag is a not-so-subtle form of racism, but I think there are a lot of subtle forms of racism right now and I think white people need to speak out against it.”
Strong said she was pleased with the turnout at the event, and the diversity on display.
“We have people representing refugees, we have people representing the LGBTQ community, we have people representing our rights as Americans to have agency over our freedom,” Strong said. “We have people representing getting Confederate flags out of our schools, we have people from all different stripes to show love versus hate and intimidation.”
A parent of children currently in Orange County Schools, Latoya Hyaccinte stood on the west side of Churton St. waving an American flag.
“I’m here to let my kids know what’s right,” Hyaccinte said. “To send a message to them that we are all equal.”